Barbara Adams Investigative Journalism Award 2018 and Barbara Adams Talk Series V: Probity in Public Life

Barbara Foundation organized the Barbara Adams Investigative Journalism Award 2018 and the Barbara Adams Talk Series V on 26th April, 2019 at Nepal Tourism Board, Bhrikuti Mandap. The Chief Guest for the program was the Hon. Anuradha Koirala, Chief of Province No. 3.

The 2018 award was given to the journalist duo Mr. Rudra Khadka and Mr. Arjun Oli for their reports on deep seated corruption in the Sikta Irrigation project. Mr. Makar Shrestha received an honorable mention for his report on irregularities in the parliament.

The program began with a welcome address by Mr. Akhilesh Upadhyay, General Secretary of Barbara Foundation. He explained that the jury took the decision taking into consideration the reporters’ perseverance their investigation, as well as post-publication impact. He announced that the purse of the award would be increased to Rs. 3,00,000 for the winner and Rs.1,00,000 for the honorable mention from next year.

After receiving the award from Hon. Anuradha Koirala, Mr. Rudra Khadka thanked the jury and Barbara Foundation for the recognition, and appreciated how awards like these motivate journalists to work hard. He remarked that for the report on Sikta irrigation, he had published over 50 news stories over the past 12 months.

Following the award ceremony, Mr. Bhoj Raj Pokharel, former chief election commissioner delivered a keynote speech on “Probity in Public Life” as part of Barbara Adams Talk Series. This was the fifth episode of the talk series. Mr. Pokharel defined probity meant upholding “strong moral standards and integrity”. He pointed out that any step taken to do something just can be thought to be a defining trait for probity. He reminded the audience how perks given by the state to public officials and representatives should be used only for work purposes and not for personal use. He ended his speech by pointing out that public’s perception about corruption is very poor as illustrated by Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index.

Hon. Ms. Koirala, through her special address, congratulated the winners and stressed how awards like these promote good governance though media.  The program ended with Dr. Chandra Prasad Pokharel, Vice-Chair of Barbara Foundation, delivering the concluding remarks. He thanked the audience for their presence and welcomed Hon.  Mohna Ansari and Mr. Sudarshan Raj Panday as new board members of Barbara Foundation.